The pain, suffering, and rawness of the racial tensions in our communities across this country over the past almost two weeks has had me at a loss for words. This Tuesday was “Black Out Tuesday” a social media movement of solidarity. I marked the occasion by listening.
Friends from around the country spoke. All seemed to be trying so, so hard to contribute to the conversation, to help us move forward. These were friends of all socio-political backgrounds, from all ethnic and racial heritages, from all classes. It was a lot to take in.
The devotion today is not a direct response to the Psalm, but rather a companion for reading. I’m not here to break it down for us and explain it away. Instead, my devotion is a playlist – a mix-tape, if you will. This music has been a travel companion as I have been reflecting on my own interactions with race relations, mentors who walked me and friends who have challenged me, and how I feel called by God to live.
There are moments of “language” in this playlist. This is not a church music soundtrack; the songs have been carefully chosen for the complex emotions they evoke, and have been taken on the whole. If offended by language and difficult cultural references, this may not be for you, and it is certainly not child-friendly.
It can be accessed here and if you do not have a Spotify account, it is no worry, I have also provided the list of songs so that anyone can access the music in a way that is most conducive to your personal taste and preference.
-Rev. Jeremy Jinkins
MESSAGE FROM FAITH FORMATION
Faith Formation received the following email from Rev. Leslie Dobbs-Allsopp, Interim Presbytery Leader for Elizabeth Presbytery. We urge each of you to consider participating in the 21 Day Racial Equality Habit Building Challenge as a way of educating ourselves to better understand what is going on in our country.
Friends, my heart is heavy. God’s beloved world seems to be on fire with the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, the murder of George Floyd, and the subsequent rioting across the country. I am yearning for a pocket of peace, but these are not peaceful times. God calls us to respond: "He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” I am from Kentucky, a Civil War border state with a disastrous racial history. I grew up in an environment where racism was a given. I believe racism is the original sin of this country, and as a white person I have participated in that sin, of which I am ashamed and for which I am sorry. We know that racism is evil, and we know that God calls people of faith to resist evil.It is not the job of people of color to educate white people about racism. It is my responsibility to learn and grow and change.Today I’m following the Rev. Tracey Henry’s lead, and I’m beginning the 21 Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge, which you can find at www.eddiemoorejr.com/21daychallenge.
There is another version of this challenge, hosted by Myers Park Presbyterian Church at www.myersparkpres.org.